The NYTimes.com claims to be the #1 reaching newspaper site on the Web - its overwhelmingly Editor controlled. Conversely, Digg defines itself as "a place for people to discover and share content from anywhere on the web. From the biggest online destinations to the most obscure blog, Digg surfaces the best stuff as voted on by our users. You won’t find editors at Digg — we’re here to provide a place where people can collectively determine the value of content and we’re changing the way people consume information online."
According to the Alexa chart above the fight is being won by the NYTimes, but its a close won fight. Digg and the social media revolution is following very closely behind.
Alexa tracks using its downloadable toolbar, which means it gets its data from a panel of people. This means they are of a particular profile, and thus not necessarily representative of the whole web. Other people get to this content in different ways. Using Google Trends For Websites we see in the chart below that the NY Times is way ahead amongst people who type the URL into the Google search box as well.
What is perhaps more dangerous for the NY Times is the sites its visitors are also visiting such as Daily Kos, The Huffington Post, and others. In the past, most people only read one paper, that was enough. So are these other sites complements or potential threats? The NY Times wins for now, but for how much longer?
Equally for Digg, there could be trouble ahead as the following Wikipedia quote questions their anti-editor stance, when a few in the community turn themselves into Editors showing not all anaimals are equal on the farm (a problem Wikipedia itself suffers from):
It has been reported that the top 100 Digg users controlled 56% of Digg's frontpage content, and that a niche group of just twenty individuals had submitted 25% of the frontpage content. A few sites have raised the problem of groupthink and the possibility that the site is being "manipulated", so to speak. In response to this question, the site's founder Kevin Rose has announced an upcoming change to the site's algorithm.